With the rise in dog ownership during the lockdown, there are quite a few new pet parents who need help preparing their pups for routine changes, including seasonal events like bonfire night.
Ahead of the November 5th Booms and Pony, certified animal behaviorist Caroline Wilkinson and Devon-based canine nutrition expert have Forthglade have compiled their five top bonfire night tips to make sure furry friends are safe and enjoying the fun.
Tips include: Bring your dog earlier in the evening to avoid loud bangs and try some natural remedies.
Take your dog for a walk early
Sometimes fireworks can be heard before dark. To avoid getting caught, make sure your dog has a fun and calm outdoor experience early in the day.
Instead of overwhelming the busy park game time, think of interesting sniffing environments so your dog is less stressed.
Build a den for your dog
Create a safe place for your dog to hide in if they so choose – a covered crate or bed in a small corner of your house can allow them to seek solace. If your dog is hiding, leave him alone – but when he comes looking for your comfort, make him freely available.
Try some slow, gentle movements along your body – adjust your breathing to match the pace of your movements.
Add good things to the pony
For younger dogs who may not have seen fireworks before, giving them a treat every time you hear a bang may be a better response to those loud noises.
If your older dog is a little insecure but not hiding, you can feel more relaxed if you give him something tasty to chew or lick. Why not sprinkle some Forthglade wet food in a toy or LickiMat?
Natural remedies can provide support
If your dog is petrified by fireworks, it’s unfair to leave them unassisted for the days and weeks that the fireworks season appears to be. Talk to your veterinarian about any natural remedies they might suggest to assist your dog during this time.
Be ready for the next year
If your dog seems to be scared of fireworks this year, give him a few weeks to recover, then seek the help of a qualified, positive behaviorist.
Getting started on a plan to address your concerns well in advance of next year is key! You want to develop a different response to fireworks without them having to experience reality.